October 8, 2021

NAGC Statement on New York City Mayor's Plan to Eliminate Gifted Education Programs in Public Schools

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is deeply disappointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent decision to end gifted education programs, beginning next year with all incoming New York City Public School kindergartners.

The Association agrees that a greater emphasis on improving equity and diversity in gifted programs is needed across the country, but eliminating them entirely is not the solution and risks doing more harm than good for underserved students. While NAGC generally supports the mayor’s plan to implement accelerated learning, it can be very difficult to ensure the needs of gifted learners can be met equally in a mixed ability classroom.

NAGC is also supportive of the mayor’s plan to eliminate the one-size-fits-all standardized test to identify gifted students, as it often fails to recognize a significant number of Black, Brown and impoverished gifted students. Instead of using one test to identify gifted students, NAGC has been a strong proponent of using multiple measures, such as universal screening and appropriate use of local norms in the identification process, and classroom instruction to introduce children who have not had prior access to challenging curriculum to prepare for more rigor.

NAGC is hopeful that the mayor’s decision will be modified to sustain gifted and talented programs in our country’s largest school district, and that more strategies can be implemented to ensure all gifted students are properly identified and served.

The Association would be happy to help the mayor and New York City Department of Education engage in the challenging, but child-centered, work of ensuring that all gifted children, regardless of zip code, have the opportunity to fulfill their passion to learn.